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dis·​card dis-ˈkärd How to pronounce discard (audio)
discarded; discarding; discards

transitive verb

: to get rid of especially as useless or unwanted
a pile of discarded tires
They quickly discarded the idea.
: to remove (a playing card) from one's hand (see hand entry 1 sense 7a(1))
discarded an ace
: to play (any card except a trump) from a suit different from the one led

intransitive verb

: to discard a playing card
discard at the end of your turn
dis-ˈkärd-də-bəl How to pronounce discard (audio)
discarder noun


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dis·​card ˈdis-ˌkärd How to pronounce discard (audio)
: the act of removing a playing card from one's hand : the act of discarding (see discard entry 1 sense 2a)
: a card discarded
collected the discards
: one that is cast off or rejected
Choose the Right Synonym for discard

discard, cast, shed, slough, scrap, junk mean to get rid of.

discard implies the letting go or throwing away of something that has become useless or superfluous though often not intrinsically valueless.

discard old clothes

cast, especially when used with off, away, or out, implies a forceful rejection or repudiation.

cast off her friends

shed and slough imply a throwing off of something both useless and encumbering and often suggest a consequent renewal of vitality or luster.

shed a bad habit
finally sloughed off the depression

scrap and junk imply throwing away or breaking up as worthless in existent form.

scrap all the old ways
would junk our educational system

Examples of discard in a Sentence

Verb Remove and discard the stems. a pile of discarded tires She discarded the six of hearts. Noun toss all of your discards in the garbage
Recent Examples on the Web
On the other is the complex Lady Eboshi, a genuine humanitarian and feminist building a home for those discarded by wider society, but whose hubris precipitates chaos and destruction. Matt Kamen, WIRED, 7 Sep. 2023 With the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden discarded a cap on how many vehicles each automaker could sell before the credits began to wind down. Craig Trudell, Fortune, 1 Sep. 2023 The masses of bright-yellow uranium ore that came up along with the radium were initially discarded as waste rock: There were scant commercial usages for uranium until the war began. Roger Peet, The New Republic, 30 Aug. 2023 CalRecycle has repeated the study several times, most recently in 2021, when Californians discarded 231,072 tons of plastic bags. Jessica Roy, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 In his remarks on Thursday, Mr. Putin underscored the contribution Wagner fighters had made to Russia’s war against Ukraine, an attempt to address its members — many of whom feel used and discarded after heavy losses in battle — and their supporters. Paul Sonne, New York Times, 25 Aug. 2023 When the corn is just cool enough to handle, remove and discard the husks and silk. Christopher Kimball, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Aug. 2023 Contributor Food waste is a massive global problem that needs to be addressed, but the issue is often ignored, as huge amounts of food are discarded for not meeting quality standards or for spoilage during transit. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 19 Aug. 2023 If you are notified that State Farm Stadium your item, that item can be picked up during normal business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) with a valid photo ID. Unclaimed items will be discarded/donated 30 days after the date the item is turned in. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 18 Aug. 2023
Remove the first few leaves from the corn husk and discard. Lauren Joseph, New York Times, 28 July 2023 And don’t forget that some of the best dishes in our earthly canon rely on things like stale bread, day-old rice and other potential discards. G. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 29 June 2023 Wild honey is a high-energy food that can provide up to 20% of calorie intake, notes the University of Cambridge in a summary of the study, and the wax that hunters share or discard is a valuable food for the honeyguide. Melissa Breyer, Treehugger, 29 June 2023 Lift membrane off meat, and discard. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 11 Oct. 2021 Trim woody ends of asparagus spears and discard. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, 5 June 2020 The process saves about 30,000 tons of food waste and approximately 11.64 pounds of carbon, and replaces 50 percent of fossil derivatives using the apple discards. Danielle Directo-Meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Mar. 2023 Then squeeze fresh lime and discard. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 9 Dec. 2022 Scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard. Lauren Joseph, WSJ, 14 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'discard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


circa 1578, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1719, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of discard was circa 1578

Dictionary Entries Near discard

Cite this Entry

“Discard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discard. Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
dis·​card dis-ˈkärd How to pronounce discard (audio)
: to remove a playing card from one's hand
: to get rid of as useless or unwanted
discard an old hat
discardable adjective


2 of 2 noun
dis·​card ˈdis-ˌkärd How to pronounce discard (audio)
: the act of discarding in a card game
: a person or thing cast off or rejected

More from Merriam-Webster on discard

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